In the winter of 2007, I sat in Peter Hennessy's "Hidden Wiring" grad seminar at Queen Mary, University of London, and listened to someone observe that as much as everyone despised Tony Blair for Iraq, they might watch Gordon Brown for a year or 2 and wish Blair were still at 10 Downing Street.
In their wildest dreams, they could not have anticipated the prescience of their statement.
In addition to the right-ward shift in European politics, the recent local & EU elections combined to inflict what can only be described as beating-a-dead-horse blows on Gordon Brown.
Labour suffered its biggest defeat in history last week, when it placed third in local council elections, winning 23% of the vote, behind Conservatives and Liberal Democrats with 38% and 28% respectively. Labour may have fared even worse in the vote for the European Parliament. The final results were published last night after we went to press, but the British media cited Labour officials over the weekend who feared their party would come in behind the Tories and Liberal Democrats, and even the fringe U.K. Independence Party.
Nothing short of an economic miracle will save Gordon Brown and Labour in the next election... and even that might not be enough.
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